The Glengarry News
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Status quo in Eastern Ontario

publisher Oct 3, 2020 - 4:23pm

“While I applaud the government’s efforts to lower the number of cases in areas experiencing high rates of transmission, I don’t see the need at this point for targeted measures in our area,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “However, we are closely monitoring the situation in Eastern Ontario and will take action if required.”

The comments were made after the Ontario government announced Friday that it is tightening public health measures to curb the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the province.

While continuing to make mask use mandatory inside all buildings, the government is pausing social circles and recommending that all Ontarians limit their close contacts to people living in their own household and maintain physical distancing measures with everyone else.

“I agree with the tightening of these public health measures,” says Dr. Roumeliotis.

“The cases we are seeing in our area are mostly a result of individuals not wearing masks and failing to maintain their distance at private social gatherings. I believe these reinforced measures will help put an end to this type of transmission.”

Targeted public health measures in Ottawa, Peel and Toronto

The province also announced the introduction of targeted public health measures in the regions of Ottawa, Peel and Toronto due to their higher than average rates of transmission.

The new measures, which take effect October 3, will restrict occupancy in bars, restaurants and other food and drink establishments, where a maximum of 100 patrons will now be allowed in the premises. Restrictions have also been tightened for gyms and other fitness settings, as well as banquet halls and other meeting and event facilities.

For more information about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19, check out the EOHU’s website at www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus.

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Get ready for renewed limits

publisher Sep 18, 2020 - 9:06am

Eastern Ontario may soon be returning to stricter COVID-19 restrictions, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says.

The province has capped outdoor gatherings at 25 and indoor get-togethers at 10 in Ottawa, Toronto and the Peel Region.

Similar measures may be imposed in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry and Prescott-Russell, Dr. Roumeliotis said Thursday, since the western edge of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit's jurisdiction borders on Ottawa.

Meanwhile, a second positive case in South Glengarry has increased the total to eight active cases in Glengarry, according to Eastern Ontario Health Unit figures that were updated at 2:54 p.m. September 17.

4 active cases

publisher Sep 8, 2020 - 3:50pm

There are now four active COVID-19 cases in North Glengarry, according to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

One of those cases is an employee at Chartrand`s Independent Grocer in Alexandria. The employee, who had not been at work since August 29, tested positive September 6.

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Algae alert

publisher Sep 7, 2020 - 4:13pm

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) would like to advise the public that potentially harmful algae blooms (cyanobacteria), also known as blue-green algae, have been reportedly found in local rivers and lakes recently. The EOHU advises people using surface water for recreation or drinking to become familiar with potentially harmful algae so they can make informed decisions on when to avoid contact with the water.

Blue-green algae occur naturally world-wide and thrive in warm, shallow, undisturbed water that receives a lot of sunlight and that is rich is phosphorus and nitrogen. Animal and human waste and fertilizers containing these chemicals can contaminate water, which amplifies the growth of blue-green algae.

Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. Toxins can irritate the skin and if ingested, can cause diarrhea and vomiting. At high enough levels, including from long-term exposure, the toxins may cause liver and nervous system damage.

The EOHU encourages people using lakes and rivers to watch for algae blooms. Dense blue-green algae blooms may make the water look like pea soup and can appear as shades of blue, blue-green, yellow, brown, or red. When a bloom is very large, algae may form solid-looking clumps. Fresh blooms often smell like newly mown grass; older blooms smell like rotting garbage.

If you live near where a bloom is suspected, detected, or where a bloom is visible, follow these safety measures:

  • Do not use the water for drinking, food preparation, bathing, or showering.
  • Do not allow children, pets, or livestock to swim in the water or drink the water.
  • If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove the algae.
  • Do not boil the water. Boiling will not remove the toxins and may release more of the toxin into the water.
  • Do not cook with the water because food may absorb toxins from the water during cooking.
  • Do not rely on water jug filtration systems, as they do not protect against the toxins.
  • Do not treat the water with a disinfectant such as chlorine bleach. This may break open algae cells and release toxins into the water.
  • Avoid eating fish caught in affected water.
  • The liver, kidneys, or other organs of fish caught in affected water should not be consumed.

West Nile virus case

publisher Aug 20, 2020 - 9:52am

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is confirming the summer’s first human case of West Nile virus in the region. To date, there have been no pools of mosquitoes in the EOHU territory that have tested positive for the disease, however the positive human case indicates that it is present in the local mosquito population.
“This first human case of the summer shows that West Nile virus remains a concern in our area,” says Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the EOHU. “Residents should be aware and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.”
West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. For most people, the risk of illness from West Nile virus is low. However, it can cause serious illness in others.

 

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2 fatal crashes

publisher Aug 17, 2020 - 2:23pm

Two people were killed in two early-morning single-vehicle accidents in Champlain Township on the weekend.
Joanne Gowan, 54, of Alfred-Plantagenet, was pronounced dead at the scene of an August 16 crash which occurred at about 3:30 a.m. August 16, on Ritchance Road, just east of Blue Corner Road.
The victim was alone in the vehicle when it left the roadway and entered the ditch, reports the Hawkesbury Ontario Provincial Police detachment.
In an August 15 accident, Fanny Dallaire, 21, of Vankleek Hill, was pronounced dead at the scene of a rollover which occurred shortly after 1 a.m on County Road 17, just east of County Road 4. She was also alone in the vehicle when it left the road and rolled over in a ditch.
Anyone who witnessed the collisions or has any information that may assist investigators is asked to contact the Hawkesbury OPP at 613-632-2729.

 

Pandemic money

publisher Aug 13, 2020 - 8:52am

Area municipalities will receive emergency assistance from the federal and Ontario governments to help them deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those receiving aid are North Glengarry ($295,200), South Glengarry ($360,200), North Stormont ($176,700) and the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, $1,762,300.
In the fall, Ontario's 444 municipalities will receive $695 million in Phase 1 funding to help address municipal operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will be allocated on a per household basis and will be shared 50/50 between upper- and lower-tier municipalities. Up to $695 million in additional funding will be available through Phase 2 to eligible municipalities after municipalities have provided the province with information on their estimated COVID-19 related financial pressures.
“The success of Ontario's municipalities is vital to our province's economic recovery,” said Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell, who is also Parliamentary Assistant to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark.
“We've been working in partnership with municipalities from day one to understand the financial impacts of COVID-19, and this historic agreement will ensure they have the funding needed to address their most urgent local priorities.”